NFC South, Just Barely
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The NFC South is the best division in football by a whisker over the NFC East.
At the top of the NFC South is Carolina (7-2), which may be the best team in the NFC. It's certainly either the Panthers or New York Giants (8-1), but it's too close to call.
But let's just assume for the sake of argument the Giants are better than the Panthers. In that case, the divisions even out because Tampa Bay is the better second-place team, ahead of Washington in the East.
Again, it's a razor-thin margin. Both teams are 6-3, but Tampa Bay has the edge because it has a coach with plenty of postseason success and a defense filled with veterans who have excelled in the biggest games. The Redskins have a rookie head coach and an unproven postseason quarterback.
What separates the NFC South from the NFC East are the third- and fourth-place teams: Atlanta and New Orleans. The Falcons are perhaps the most pleasant surprise in the NFL this season and are in the thick of the playoff chase at 6-3. Heck, they still have a legitimate chance at the division title.
The Saints may be 4-5, but who wants to play against that offense? Drew Brees is perhaps the best passer in the NFC, and New Orleans can score quickly and in bunches. Don't be surprised to see the Saints go on a run to end the season.
Both Atlanta and New Orleans have a lot more going for them than Philadelphia and Dallas, which is imploding right before our eyes. The Cowboys may not finish the season better than 8-8, much less make the playoffs.
The Eagles may find themselves in similar a circumstance as Dallas after last night's loss to the Giants. Philadelphia's staple has been defense, but in three games against division foes, the Eagles have yielded 41, 23 and 36 points.
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